Antibiotic Treatment of Mucodegeneration and Positive Buoyancy in a Chambered Nautilus, Nautilus Pompilius.

Research paper by Massimo M Morpurgo, Gregory J GJ Barord

Indexed on: 05 Jun '18Published on: 05 Jun '18Published in: Journal of aquatic animal health


The correct diagnosis and treatment of disease in chambered nautiluses is difficult. Their basic morphology and natural behaviors tend to mask the initial onset of a disease or infection and by the time it is observable, mortality usually occurs. Here, a single specimen of Nautilus pompilius at the Museum of Nature South Tyrol exhibited symptoms of an infection which included mucus production, abnormal buoyancy, irregular hood appearance, and inconsistent tentacle movement. Soon after, tetracycline hydrochloride was administered in bath form at 25 mg/l in seawater daily, for 30 minutes, over six consecutive days. The specimen regained normal buoyancy after the fifth day. After the six-day treatment, the specimen regained all normal behaviors and appearance within two weeks. Today, more than a year after treatment, the specimen is exhibiting normal behaviors with no adverse reactions. Tetracycline, when administered soon after observing symptoms of an infection, was effective at halting the progression of the symptoms and led to the full recovery of the specimen. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.